Hastings pipped in county final

The Hastings darts team which narrowly lost to Worthing in the play-off between the East and West Division winners
The Hastings darts team which narrowly lost to Worthing in the play-off between the East and West Division winners

Hastings narrowly missed out on winning a county darts title.

East Division champions Hastings were beaten 5-4 by West Division winners Worthing in the Sussex Super League Divisional Play-Off.

Hastings lost the first match when Simon Smith (21.11 average) went down 3-1 against Andy Stanford (23.95), but got back on level terms after Mark Card (20.49) saw off Richard Stanford (22.34) by the same score.

Worthing retook the lead as Ron Clarke (31.57) edged out Adrian Gray (29.97) 3-2 in a high quality contest. Gray hit five 140s, three of them in a fourth leg which he won in just 14 darts.

Shayne Burgess (24.64) got Hastings back level at 2-2 by seeing off Lee Gladman (23.28) 3-0 aided by two 140s, one of them in an 18-dart second leg.

Worthing won all the next three matches to seal victory. James Greenfield (31.98) produced a fine display to beat Adam Bryant (24.76 - with two 140s) 3-0 in 14, 16 and 17 darts.

Mick Doabe (25.47) overcame Andy Derrick (25.04 - two 140s and a 137) 3-0 with an 18-dart third leg and Dayle Smith (25.16) beat Adi Boyle (21.86) 3-1 with two 18-dart legs.

Hastings did at least win the last two matches. Neil Blackford (20.84) defeated Steve Hart (19.69) 3-1 with a best score of 134, while Mark Stafford (24.92) outgunned Paul Paice (22.86) by the same margin aided by a 180 and 140 in an 18-dart closing leg.

The previous weekend, Hastings represented Sussex in the British Champions Cup by virtue of having won the county’s winter competition. Hastings topped their initial group after winning all of their three matches 6-3 before being pipped 5-4 in the quarter-finals.